Safety is the number one priority. All students should know
the risks of glassblowing. Glass blowing is inherently a dangerous
activity. The following rules created by various studios and
teachers, are meant to help keep the glass blowing experience
as safe as possible. Be aware of your position in the studio.
When you are walking behind someone, be sure to let them know
that you are there. Students will be intensely focused on
the piece of hot glass at the end of their pipe, please be
aware of their potential movement. Do not swing a pipe in
the direction of another person. Do not give the pipe a full
swing no more than shoulder height. Never raise the blow pipe
higher than your head. You should always move around the shop
with the hot glass end of the pipe angled toward the floor.
ALWAYS LOOK BEFORE TURNING AROUND WITH A HOT BLOWPIPE. While
blowing glass always be aware of any person in other areas
of the studio. Safety glasses must be worn at all times. We
will provide eye protection. If you have prescription eye
wear or prefer your own ordinary sunglasses, please feel free
to bring them. You are responsible for keeping your safety
glasses on at all times. All classes will start with an explanation
of the safety rules. Only authorized personnel are permitted
to adjust studio equipment. If there are any problems, contact
the the instructor.
Do not wear synthetic material or plastic fiber. Proper dress
should include a cotton long sleeve shirt with a short sleeve
undershirt, long pants, closed toe shoes, no open toed footwear
or flimsy shoes. Sturdy hard soled shoes are recommended.
Do not wear metal exposed such as jewelry, metal buttons,
watches, Etc. Individuals with long hair need to bring something
to tie their hair back.
All students are required to read and sign a liability waiver
and agree to abide to the standards of safety and conduct
that Greenwood Glass Blowing Studio has outline. All students
should know the risks of glassblowing. We attempt to run a
safe shop, but cannot protect you from everything. Students
under the age of 18 will require a parent or guardian signature
on the liability waiver. Parents are encouraged to read and
review safety procedures with their children.
to liability waiver Please print, sign and send
with your reservation fee. Otherwise the form will be provided.
If a student must cancel and cancellation is received
30 days prior to the class start date, you will receive a
full refund less a $15.00 processing fee. If cancellation
is received less than 30 days but at least 7 days prior to
the class start date, a 50-percent refund will be given less
a $15.00 processing fee. There is no refund for cancellations
received less than 7 days before the class start date. If,
for any reason it is necessary for us to cancel a class, and
we are not able to offer another time, a full refund will
be given. If there is a major snow, ice storm, or power outage,
the class will be postponed to another date.
Payment May Be Made By: Cash or a Check - payable to
All students must be in good health and ability to withstand
the heat and the physical demands of glass blowing. Please
check with your doctor if you have any questions.
Finished pieces must cool overnight. You will need to pick
them up later, or if desired, we can ship them for a reasonable
packing and shipping fee. We cannot hold your pieces indefinitely,
so please pick them up promptly or make arrangements for shipping.
We are not responable for students work that is left in the
Alcohol is not permitted in or outside of the Greenwood Glass
Blowing Studio except during permitted events. The use of
illegal drugs while at GGBS is strictly prohibited. We do
not tolerate behavior that jeopardizes your safety or the
safety of others. Do not blow glass if you have been drinking
or have consumed anything else that would impair your coordination,
judgment or balance.
Students might receive minor burns or cuts as a natural part
of learning to blow glass. Many objects are hot, tools, pipes,
punties, furnace doors, annealing ovens, assume that all surfaces
are hot, even surfaces (such as the rails of the bench) that
are not directly in contact with the glass. Report all burns
and cuts to a staff member. We have a first aid kit available.
All of these issues will be covered in the safety instructions
at the beginning of the class.
Shards and other pieces of unannealed glass can be extremely
dangerous and may explode without warning. Under no circumstances
should any piece of glass be removed from the studio unless
it has been properly annealed. Shards and unannealed glass
pieces will occur from the glass blowing process. These pieces
of glass called drops are usually cut off from the piece that
a student is working on. They rest on the floor and will retain
their heat for many minutes. Please do not try to pick up
this pieces. Instructors will dispose of them throughout the
We blow glass in teams. The person making the piece is in
charge of the team and is known as the Gaffer. The two assistants
help the Gaffer by getting pieces of glass, arranging tools,
providing bench blows, etc. Gaffers will not always need 2
assistants, allowing time for one assistant to rest. Team
members should take care of each other. Help your fellow students
to follow the rules of safe behavior and not work beyond their
Never place a pipe in water without capping the end. If you
forget to do this, a column of ultra-hot steam will surge
up the pipe, and burn your hands or you'll be scaled with
flying boiling water.
The Gaffer and assistants will take turns blowing on the
pipe during the course of a piece. If you are uncomfortable
with this communal contact, the best remedy is to purchase
your own blowpipe and use a blow-hose. We clean the pipes
between classes, but not each time that a student uses it.
We have alcohol-based wipes to use on mouthpieces if you so
choose. Please inquire with your instructor.
Greenwood Glass is not responsible for the security of property
belonging to students, instructors, or staff.
Students are not permitted to have pets with them while at
Greenwood Glass and its associates reserve the right to photograph,
on site, students and their artwork for public relations work
in promoting GG and its programs.
Greenwood Glass does not discriminate on the basis of race,
age, religion, gender, national or ethnic origin, or sexual
Note on Gathering:
We purposefully do not teach gathering at the beginning of
the class for several reasons. First, most students are intimidated
by the heat of the furnace. Secondly, we want you learning
the other skills on relatively symmetrical gathers (your first
gathers won't be this way). Finally, the furnace is fragile
and must never be hit with a gather of glass. We will teach
you to gather as your skills warrant.
The furnace holds 210 lbs of glass in a free standing crucible
at 2000 F. It runs continuously and is very fragile. Students
need to receive special instruction before removing glass
from the furnace.
Glory Holes are used to re-heat glass and run at a temperature
of 2200 F. The doors are fragile and should be operated only
with care. When you accidentally drop a piece in the glory
hole, use the pipe or punty that it fell off to immediately
retrieve as much of the piece as you can. While re-heating
your glass object, pay particular attention to avoiding collisions
with the doors.
The main work area, the bench combines two areas: a seat with
rails and a tool stand. The bench is setup for right-handed
people. Lefties will need to learn to blow glass right-handed.
Both hands are important and do different things. Although
benches can be set up right or left-handed, most benches in
the world are right handed.
Annealers (aka Lehr ovens) are used to safely cool glass from
final temperature (960 F) to room temperature. Annealer doors
are fragile and must be closed slowly and firmly. Beware,
their surfaces can get very hot.
Glass will not stick to cold objects, it is necessary to preheat
pipes and puntys. A pipe is hot enough when it has a very
slight glow. Do not use a pipe that has not been heated as
bits of glass on the end may explode violently when rapidly
heated. Color ovens contain colored glass. Color glass will
crack unless preheated to 1000 - 1100 F.
The marver is the most powerful method of shaping glass and
also the most difficult to master. When marvering glass, remember
to support the weight of the piece and only allow the area
you are working to touch the surface. The marver is an excellent
tool for shaping and removing heat from an area of the glass.
Marvers must be keep clean. Never set any object (especially
a wet object) on a marver. It is a good habit to wipe the
marver down before each use.
When a hot bubble is inserted in an optic mold and inflated,
the profile of the bubble is distorted into optic ridges.
Used for decoration on both clear and colored vessels.
Blocks & Paddles
Wooden spoon-like "blocks" are used only to shape
very hot glass (usually fresh out of the furnace). Blocks
should not be used on glass that is not moving as they will
simply scum the surface and damage the block. Blocks should
be used wet, but not with pools of water inside. If a block
begins to smoke, rather than steam, immediately re-wet it.
Paddles are used primarily to flatten the bottoms and lips
of pieces. They do not need to be wet.
This versatile tool for shaping glass has two working surfaces,
the blades and "backs" (the flat section near the
bend). Assume both are hot and only grab the jacks by the
handles. A pacioffi is basically a jack with wooden blades
and needs to be kept wet. Metal jacks should have a fine coating
of wax on the working surface.
Tweezers should be free of wax and are used for any number
of activities: "plucking" the glass, guide puntys
into place, etc.
A thick layer of wet newspaper will protect you from the glass
even straight out of the furnace. Newspaper and graphite pads
should be treated like blocks and always used wet on moving
glass. Purpose of the paper or graphite pad which is held
in ones hand, is to shape the hot glass.
& Straight Shears
Shears are used for cutting glass. Straight shears are used
like scissors to slice through glass and diamond shears are
used to cut to a single point. NEVER use shears on cold glass.
If you catch yourself using much force with shears, the glass
is to cold to work and most likely you will damaging them.
Blowpipes are provided for student use. Shop pipes should
be treated gently, especially when hot. They will bend with
excessive force. Our pipes have fancy plastic mouthpieces
rather than the traditional metal. This is for safety reasons
as plastic is much less likely to knock your teeth out. The
plastic pieces are more delicate and scratch easily especially
when spun on the floor. If you are inverting a pipe, protect
the mouthpiece by spinning it on your shoe (not a beginner
& Steam Sticks
Puffers, either bent or straight, are used to inflate a blown
vessel while it is on the punty. "Steam sticks"
are wet wooden cones and have a similar function.
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